The doors to the executive suite continued to revolve in 1994, and a few executives found themselves in leadership positions at their former companies.
Larry Del Santo left American Stores Co., Salt Lake City, to try to turn around the fortunes of his former employer, Vons Cos., Arcadia, Calif. Del Santo, who was president of Vons from 1970 to 1974, returned to the chain as vice chairman and chief executive officer in May -- a preliminary step to becoming chairman next May when Roger E. Stangeland retires from that position. In rejoining Vons, Del Santo brought with him Richard Goodspeed, former president of American's Lucky Stores division, as president and chief operating officer of Vons. Their task was to achieve a turnaround from the steep sales declines Vons had been suffering. In the Midwest, Pat Petitti came out of retirement to try to turn around the performance of Eagle Food Centers, Milan, Ill. Petitti, who had retired in May 1992 as chairman and CEO of Eagle after a 35-year career there, succeeded Gerald E. Barber as president and CEO when Barber resigned in April. One of the year's most important personnel elevations didn't involve a returning employee at all. Robert E. Stauth, president and CEO of Fleming Cos., Oklahoma City, was named chairman of the company in April. That followed the retirement of E. Dean Werries, who had been chairman. Stauth, a 20-year Fleming veteran, followed up with strong leadership of the company's ongoing re-engineering program and the successful bid for the acquisition of cross-town rival Scrivner. In another change, Ronald J. Floto, chairman, president and CEO of Kash n' Karry Food Stores, Tampa, Fla., resigned in August after presiding over a financial restructuring that allowed the company to reorganize. A few weeks later Floto resurfaced in Troy, Mich., where he was named president of Kmart's Super Kmart Centers operation and corporate executive vice president. Succeeding him at Kash n' Karry was Tony Petrillo, a former consultant to Riser Foods, Bedford Heights, Ohio, and former president of Mayfair Super Markets, Elizabeth, N.J. In other changes during the past year:
Certified Grocers of California, the Los Angeles-based retailer-owned cooperative, lost its two top executives when Everett Dingwell retired as president and CEO in February and Gerald Friedler resigned as senior vice president of marketing and merchandising in August. Dingwell, who remains corporate chairman through the end of the year, was succeeded by Alfred A. Plamann, the co-op's former chief financial officer. Friedler moved to Richfood, Mechanicsville, Va., to become executive vice president of procurement, marketing and sales.
Marsh Collins, president and CEO of Bi-Lo, Mauldin, S.C., was given those titles at Red Food Stores, Chattanooga, Tenn., after Red Food was acquired by Ahold USA, Parsippany, N.J., which also owns Bi-Lo. James Bolonda, who had been running Red Food, resigned and became a consultant to Bi-Lo and Ahold.
Mark Williams, president and chief operating officer of Carr Gottstein Foods, Anchorage, Alaska, added the CEO title in September, succeeding John J. Cairns, who remains chairman.
Robert S. Ukrop succeeded his brother James as president of Ukrop's Super Markets, Richmond, Va. James Ukrop remains vice chairman and CEO.
Ron Marshall was named executive vice president and chief financial officer of Pathmark Stores, Woodbridge, N.J. He was chief financial officer at Dart Group Corp., Landover, Md.
William Yingling 3rd, president of the southern California division of Lucky Stores from 1986 to 1991, was named vice chairman of Crown, a brokerage based in Artesia, Calif. He will become chairman and CEO when Paul Arndt retires from those posts in June 1996.
Dennis K. Eck, who had resigned as president and CEO of Vons late in 1993, accepted a position as managing director of supermarkets at Coles Myer, Melbourne, Australia, after a three-month stint as a consultant there.
W.R. "Buz" Doyle was named president and chief operating officer of Furr's Supermarkets, Albuquerque, N.M. -- a post that had been vacant since Stu Rosenthal left the company in June 1993 to join Big V Supermarkets, Florida, N.Y.
Rosenthal resigned as president and chief operating officer of Big V in November when it became clear to him he was not going to be named CEO of the company.
William S. Kies Jr. resigned as president and chief operating officer of IGA, Chicago, in September, 14 months after taking the job. Larry Willis, most recently president of Fleming Cos.' Miami division, was named IGA executive vice president and chief operating officer earlier this month.
Ted Wetterau ended a 40-year career with the company his grandfather founded when he retired last January as chairman and CEO of Wetterau Inc., Hazelwood, Mo., which had been acquired by Supervalu, Minneapolis, in October 1992. He subsequently joined his sons Mark and Conrad in Wetterau Associates, St. Louis.
Patrick W. Collins, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., retired after a 22-year career with the company. He was president and chief operating officer since 1976 before giving up the presidency to Al Marasca a year before his retirement.
Dave Morrow retired as president and CEO of Pueblo International, Pompano Beach, Fla. Donald J. Byrnes, chairman of the executive committee of Pueblo's board of directors, is the interim president and CEO.
Donald Dufek retired as senior vice president of logistics at Kroger Co., Cincinnati, after a 32-year career there.